More than 1,200 people gathered in Baltimore, MD for the Immune Deficiency Foundation 2013 National Conference, June 27-29. It is the only national meeting in the U.S. specifically for the primary immunodeficiency (PI) community. Patients and families received helpful information about living with PI and connected with great people from all over the world, including 44 states, Guam, France, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Germany, Australia, Israel, Belgium and Argentina. Many attendees remarked that it was the best IDF conference!
It all began with a historic IDF Advocacy Day on Thursday, June 27. Approximately 300 people traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for needs of the PI community—this was the largest delegation of the PI community on Capitol Hill ever. Members of Congress and their staff welcomed the “zebras” for personal meetings throughout the day. In the evening, everyone returned to Baltimore for the Welcome Reception officially kicking off the conference, featuring a performance of the national anthem and an Armed Forces Color Guard.
On Friday and Saturday, healthcare and life management experts conducted nearly 40 presentations. Speakers discussed advancements in diagnosis and treatments, and attendees learned how to better manage their health. Patients and families also had the opportunity to meet others who are dealing with the same challenges they are. Throughout the conference, children, tweens and teens participated in age-appropriate activities and educational sessions during the IDF Youth Program. Conference attendees took advantage of the IDF Exhibit Hall featuring services and products for the PI community.
Several new IDF initiatives were unveiled at the conference:
- IDF Patient & Family Handbook for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases 5th Edition - Revised and updated, including 33 chapters
- Clinical Focus Chronic Granulomatous Disease - Authored by Drs. Jennifer Leiding, Harry Malech and Steve Holland
- Redesigned Website - Enhanced, mobile responsive IDF website with easier-to-use menus and additional content, including life stage sections: www.primaryimmune.org.
- IDF eHealthRecord 2.0 – Recently redesigned online personal health record specifically for patients with PI. Go to www.idfehealthrecord.org.
- Walk for Primary Immunodeficiency – IDF’s national signature fundraising and awareness walk, locations in 2013 include Philadelphia - September 29, Los Angeles - October 19, and Chicago - October 27. Visit www.walkforPI.org for more info.
- New IDF Logo
At the end of each day, everyone had a chance to relax with special celebrations. Friday’s Stars and Zebra Stripes Gala included the THINK ZEBRA! Silent Auction, musical entertainment and an awards presentation. Family fun was had by all at Saturday’s IDF Night at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Overall, the IDF 2013 National Conference was a tremendous success, providing vital resources for patients and families and connecting members of the community. The IDF 2015 National Conference will be held in New Orleans, LA, June 25-27.
To see photos, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/idfcommunity/sets/.
National Conference Sponsors
IgG America/ASD Healthcare/US Bioservices
Welcome to Baltimore Reception
Name Badge Lanyards
Stars and Zebra Stripes Gala
IDF Night at the National Aquarium
Newborn Screening Session
IDF SCID Initiative
SCID Angels for Life Foundation
Arlan Sprague Family
IDF Lila Alban Fund